WASHINGTON (AP) - President Barack Obama is proposing moderate increases in space spending. Obama emphasizes global warming research and continues plans to retire space shuttles next year while eventually returning astronauts to the moon.
The $18.7 billion proposal for the budget year starting Oct. 1 is 6 percent more than President George W. Bush asked for last year.
The Obama proposal essentially keeps the space agency on the course set by Bush. It would retire the shuttles in 2010, land people on the moon by 2020 and go five years relying on Russia for rides into orbit. The president wants to add one space shuttle flight next year.
The spending highlight in Obama's plan is for tracking global warming from space, a major change from previous years.